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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Talking Book

Stevie Wonder

1972

Talking Book

Album Summary

Talking Book is the fifteenth studio album by American singer, songwriter, and musician Stevie Wonder, released on October 28, 1972, by Tamla, a subsidiary of Motown Records. This album and Music of My Mind, released earlier the same year, are generally considered to mark the start of Wonder's "classic period". The sound of the album is sharply defined by Wonder's use of keyboards and synthesizers. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard Top LPs chart and finished at number three on Billboard's year-end chart for 1973. "Superstition" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts, and "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" hit number one on the Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts. Talking Book earned Wonder his first Grammy Award, with "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" winning Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 16th Grammy Awards; "Superstition" also won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. Often included in lists of the greatest albums of all time, Talking Book was voted number 322 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000), and Rolling Stone ranked it number 59 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.76

Votes

5932

Genres

  • Funk
  • Soul
Reviews
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Wed Jul 14 2021
3

Lovely relaxed vocals but the lyrics are too sickly sweet for my tastes and a bit repetitive. Superstition is amazing. Stevie Wonder's real name is Stevland Morris. 3/5

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Tue Aug 31 2021
3

IMO Stevie is at his best when he does the funky soul numbers. Superstition is one of his most iconic songs, with killer guitar hooks and I love his funky snarling voice. But this album is marred by syrupy maudlin commercial tracks meant to sell records such as You are the sunshine, You and I, Looking for another pure love, and I believe. Yuck. If it had more Superstition it would be a 4 but the dreck pulls it down unfortunately

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Mon Feb 22 2021
5

I went down the rabbit hole with Stevie Wonder after listening to this.... he has so many more catchy hits than I realized, many that have been covered so many times..... my favorite will always be 'Don't you worry 'bout a thing' but my newest discovery rivals my favorite - - 'Pastime paradise'; I'd never listened to the original, only the cover - Gangster's paradise

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Thu Sep 09 2021
1

This is the album that has "Superstition" on it, the rest of the album is pretty forgettable electronic keyboard and sleepy soulless blabbering. Songs just boring and don't go anywhere, like an essay written to pad length.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

I love me some Stevie, and seeing him on this list will likely surprise no one. I think I actually own this record, but hadn't listened to it before today. I own and have listened to Songs in the Key of Life, and Hotter Than July, the latter of which I bought in a head shop in Macomb along with a book on how propaganda was making men's fashion more feminine (I threw away the book, still have the record). Anyway, based on my limited experience with his discography, Stevie's music is super consistent, and a joy. When I go back to hosting game nights again, I will be sure to dust off my copy of Talking Book. My personal enjoyment: 4/5 Did it belong on this list: 5/5

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Fri May 21 2021
4

For every bit of magic on this album, there's something a little powderpuff about much of the rest of the material. I know we are all supposed to consider Stevie Wonder a genius, but Innervisions aside I'm not sure he's ever hit that kind of consistency. The funk-soul equivalent to Iron Maiden, then; stellar moments and a hogshead of filler

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Sat Oct 09 2021
4

Undoubtedly a genius, sometimes his tracks are just too cheesy. However, when he wants to get funky then his squelching synths and cry baby bass is amazing. Best Tracks: Maybe Your Baby; Tuesday Heartbreak; Superstition

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Thu Jul 29 2021
2

One of my all time favourite songs on this album - Superstition. So was looking forward to this, but i am sorry this song couldnot carry the rest of the album. It mostly sounded like lounge music to me. 2 Stars

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Fri May 07 2021
5

Arguably Stevie Wonder's best album, although I prefer "Innervisions" and "Songs in the Key of Life." Inarguably among one of the 1001 greatest albums of all time. "Maybe Your Baby" is an electro jam that feels contemporary in 2021. "Superstition" is an unskippable track for all people and all times.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

This is an actual classic album. Stevie Wonder in his imperial period. It is hard to over-praise this record.

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Sat Oct 23 2021
4

Typical Stevie Wonder album, Some of the best music ever and some of the most self indulgent crap on the same disk. Loved some of it but hated that I didn't love it all.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
3

An album of two halves. The well known tracks are some of Stevie's best. The album tracks are a bit bland and dull, frankly. However, any record with a song as strong as I Believe can't be all bad, right? For me, Innervisions is a better record for the cohesion and clarity of purpose.

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Sat Nov 20 2021
3

Superstition is an all time great song. Shame the rest of the album sounds nothing like it. Not bad, just gives you a glimpse of some of his best work for one song and the rest is mid.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
2

Not a fan of soul/R&B and the cheesy schmaltz of the opening track ‘you are the sunshine of my life’ was a terrible start. Sorry Stevie, not for me

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

this is a perfect album.

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Thu Sep 17 2020
5

Absolutely outstanding and unique view of Stevie’s music. Not being super familiar with his work outside of any of the hits, this really helped me appreciate a bit more of the work that I guess was not considered as “commercial” at the time.

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Tue Jan 12 2021
5

all the famous songs here are impeccable gems

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Fantastic!! Now we are getting somewhere. The keys, the funk, and Stevie's wonderful voice.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

So dope bruh

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Own it, love it. Listened to Innervisions instead, because I don't own it (yet). Both are 5. Stevie is God.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

grande stevieeee!

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Great smooth listening

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

Amazing album. It's so easy to overlook Stevie Wonder sometimes, but this album is always worth coming back to.

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

I'm familiar with some of his more famous songs because Stevie Wonder is, well, iconic to say the least but never actually listened to a full album by him. Lemme just say I'm kicking myself for missing out and this Aussie gives Talking Book five lamingtons out of five.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

I've been busy so I had to go back to this one. Really loved it stevie wonder is great

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

Beautiful work by Stevie Wonder

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Mon Jun 21 2021
5

Fantastic

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

The album is elite

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

This album is amazing! I can't believe how great Stevie Wonder's music is. What a genius. I can see all the influences he's had on musicians.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

Great

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Brought back memories...

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Dope beats

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Thu May 20 2021
5

Awesome! Can't believe I didn't discover him earlier

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

Discazo total!! 4 temazos para la historia, y el resto muy buenos de acompañamiento.

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Fri May 28 2021
5

Imagine being this talented

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Mon Feb 22 2021
5

Funky classic! Superstition!

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Sat Feb 27 2021
5

really good obv

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Tue Mar 16 2021
5

Precioso. R&B impregnado de funk con el sonido característico del Hohner Clavinet de Wonder. Tiene temazos.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

Super album

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

Not the only 5 star album, but this is top class.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

Classic brilliant

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

Amazing songwriting and arranging of the music.

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Fri May 14 2021
5

So much soul!

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

5/5 - Always loved this album; Hell yeah, Stevie

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Tue May 25 2021
5

The one..the.only...Stevie Wonder

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

Always love some Stevie! One of his best. Some favorites from the album included Maybe Your Baby, You've Got It Bad Girl, and Blame It On The Sun.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
5

The album starts with calming chords and a soft groove. Then the groove heats up and stays strong. Each song has unique instruments and melodies that keep this a very interesting album all the way through.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
5

Beautiful album. It’s like a love-child of funk and country but raised by classical. It’s soft and gentle but also thoughtful. Stevie Wonder has a perfect voice and he also has poignant lyrics. This album delivers pretty heavy stuff like love and heartbreak and rebirth and belief and faith but it’s done so lite and breezy. Stevie Wonder is a genius. Top tracks You are the sunshine of my life Big brother You and I Tuesday Heartbreak Iconic track Superstition

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Mon Aug 23 2021
5

Stevie Wonder... Dos megahits.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
5

The two songs opening each side are excellent and very well known hits. For me, Superstition is his best song.  Ray Parker will always be better known for his Ghostbusters song but his  guitar on Maybe Your Baby is top shelf and really works well with the funkiness. Stevie delivers the electric piano and clavinet that makes Tuesday Heartbreak. I've never heard those instruments deliver a cool and funky vibe like this. Stevie's vocals on You and I might be his best on the LP. Jeff Beck's guitar on Looking for Another . . . is also quite good as one would expect from Jeff. I didn't know Stevie for his political songs. Big Brother is quite good and the words "You've killed all our Leaders" are particularly poignant given this album was made less than 5 years after  Martin Luther King and Bobby  Kennedy were murdered.  Different songs on this LP have very different features that make them soar. They are all good songs for very different reasons. An album that pulls this off meets my definition of a 5. As an afterthought, it's a great picture on the cover. 

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Tue Aug 31 2021
5

The best record of his career, and a monster of an album with chart hits and influential songs spilling out all over the place. I have always loved this record. I still do.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
5

J'adore Stevie Wonder et cette album est merveilleux. Ça s'écoute très bien et superstition est une de mes préféré. 4.90

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Sun Oct 10 2021
5

Wonderful album from start to finish.

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Sun Oct 10 2021
5

Timeless Stevie Wonder album, no comments needed

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Fri Oct 29 2021
5

Absolutely brilliant. A masterpiece companion to Innervisions (all recorded pretty much in one go).

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Great album. I've been listening to it for years. Not new to me.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
5

Super funky, enjoyed this one more then I expected.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
5

Didn't listen fully

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

Magnificent. 'Maybe your baby' is pretty much the first part of Prince's career in 6:50...

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

Superstitious makes this a 5 star album by itself

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

Well... It's Stevie Wonder.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

Exquisite. Just utterly, utterly sublime.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

Another incredible album by Stevie Wonder - probably my second favourite of his. Includes classics You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, You And I and Superstition.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
5

STEVIE! I'll never understand how someone like Stevie Wonder can be overlooked, but here we are. Unfortunately it seems like the world won't show it's outpouring of appreciation for Stevie until he dies. He had an imperial period that ranks up there with the all-time greats and was as prolific as Prince. And that doesn't even take into consideration that, oh yeah, the dude is BLIND. Many point to "Superstition" being the signature, iconic track on this album and they're not wrong. But let's not sleep on the joy that is the opening track on this album. "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" is full of joy and elation that captures exactly how happy it is to be madly in love with someone. The song itself is a party, where Stevie captures the happiness he's found in the world all in two-minutes and 45 seconds. We shouldn't wait until we lose Stevie Wonder to thank him for the joy he's given us.

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Sun Feb 06 2022
5

On the list of best closing song to an album ever.

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Tue Feb 08 2022
5

🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

The master

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

Kannte nur Superstition. Großartiges Album, eine Wohltat.

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Sat Feb 12 2022
5

Another essential funky soul/pop LP from Stevie's classic period. Probably my 3rd favourite after Songs in the key of life (5*) and Innervisions (5*).

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

a golden soulful funky classic

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

Well that was amazing.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

Espetáculo.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

Album increíble. Gran armonía y modernidad para los 70

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

This album is amazing. It has so much range in melody, instrumentation, and topics/lyrics. It shows instrumental and production virtuosity on every track, and it holds together as an album for an end-to-end listen. If you can't appreciate it, I'd question your appreciation for music in general. Nothing like it to pick you up on a rough day, too.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

Fantastic album. All the funk. All the musicianship you love about Stevie Wonder. And Superstitious remains one of the best songs, ever.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
5

Oddly the poorest track imo is You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, but the rest of the album is just indubitably excellent. Superstition. What a track. What an album. What a man

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Wed Mar 30 2022
5

Good shit 5

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Tue Apr 05 2022
5

Je suis un grand fan des albums de Stevie Wonder du début des années 70. Voyons celui-ci de plus près. 1. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" incarne bien l'évolution de mon appréciation de Stevie Wonder. Alors que je n'aimais que les pièces funky et délaissais les balades qui m'apparaissaient plus sirupeuses, j'ai fini par tout embrasser dans un grand geste d'amour. Chanson délicieuse. 2. " Maybe Your Baby". Dès la première mesure, on accroche au mordant funky. Pendant les dernières mesures, on se demande quand ça va finir. Me paraît le maillon faible du disque à cause de sa structure en mode infini. 3. "Tuesday Heartbreak". On a envie de bouger notre corps doucement et d'aimer tout le monde. La magie de Stevie Wonder opère. 4. "You've Got It Bad Girl". Explorations dans tous les sens, tout en maintenant un cadre pop. La mélodie est accrocheuse malgré ses anomalies, les textures sonores vont dans plusieurs directions. Selon notre humeur, on pourrait juger que c'est trop sur ce dernier plan ou adorer le voyage. 5. "Superstition". Rien à ajouter sur ce formidable morceau dont les arrangements sont parfaitement équilibrés, l'interprétation vocale d'une justesse ahurissante. Cette chanson me fait toujours réagir avec la même ferveur. 6. "Big Brother". Malgré la progression harmonique toute simple, Wonder, réussit à surprendre avec des arrangements qui ouvrent une nouvelle porte par rapport à ce qu'on avait entendu plus tôt sur l'album :accents folks (est-ce un fingerpicking? eh non, c'est le magicien aux claviers). L'harmonica nous rappelle que Stevie en est un maître. Le message social est davantage mis de l'avant : Stevie n'est pas que musique, il est aussi conscience. 7. "Blame It On The Sun". Le Stevie sirupeux nous met au défi ici. Il suffit de plonger dans l'amour et la volupté pour apprécier. On se prend à regretter que l'amoureuse soit trop loin pour lui dire à quel point on l'aime. 8. "Lookin' For Another Pure Love" et 9. "I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)". Le génie mélodique de Stevie Wonder nous prend d'un autre angle avec ces chansons. La guitare de Jeff Beck apporte une belle fraîcheur. Le tout, méditatif voire planant, ne peut qu'évoquer un lit défait, des corps nus... L'outro de "I Believe" montre qu'on peut utiliser la répétition à bon escient dans la finale d'une chanson, ce que "Maybe Your Baby" avait raté. Pas le meilleur de Stevie Wonder de cette époque, cependant cette écoute attentive n'a réussi qu'à me le faire encore plus apprécier, malgré ses quelques excès.

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Tue Apr 05 2022
5

Fantastic album

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

Love this classic

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Fri Apr 15 2022
5

This album is chock-full of standouts. "Superstition", "Big Brother","Maybe Your Baby", "You've Got it Bad Girl" and "I Belive" easily push this album into 5 star territory for me.

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Thu Apr 21 2022
5

Jamiroquai's wet dream

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Sat Apr 23 2022
5

Soul masterpiece. Wonder was really peerless at this phase.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

Just excellent.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
5

The Man could no wrong in the Sixties. Sensational stuff.

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Tue May 10 2022
5

I can't be unbiased about this. Stevie's my favorite. I remember holding this vinyl as a kid. The 70s synths feel like spending a sunny day on another planet to me. Favorite tracks are Superstition, Blame It On The Sun, and I Believe.

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Mon May 23 2022
5

+You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Maybe Your Baby, Tuesday Heartbreak, Superstition, I Believe -You and I But who knew the "I Just Called (to say I Love You" guy could also bring the funk and bring it hard? Maybe Your Baby goes hard with some seriously filthy-funky bass that you just can't help to bob your head to, and a few "ee-hees" years before Michael made it his trademark; this track clocks in at just under 7 minutes and is a party the whole way through. Tracks like You've Got It Bad Girl and Blame It On The Sun provide some welcome breathing room giving us some buttery-smooth, soulful R&B, frosted with Stevie's crooning. Big Brother takes a folksy turn and pulls it off fantastically, you'd almost think it was Paul Simon. The show concludes as strong as it starts with I Believe, which is a journey of itself asking us the question "Doncha wanna fall in love?"...I already have, Stevie! The only track I didn't fully enjoy was You and I, and it's really just a showcase of Stevie's prowess on the keys (which is top-notch here), but the song itself I could take or leave.

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Tue May 24 2022
5

To be honest, I wasn't expecting to be a huge fan of this based on the overplayed "Superstition" and "You Are The Sunshine of my Life," but it really is an incredible album, flowing between moods and genres with ease. It sounds great and his voice is terrific.

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Tue May 24 2022
5

It's almost effortless- so smooth. He really is one of the greatest. Just listening to Stevie makes the world a slightly less bad place. Of course there's the big hits but with repeated plays other songs come out of the woodwork. 'Lookin' for another pure love' is a case in point. There's an intricate balance going on all through this album- the singing, rhythm and the beat with the instruments all together. It's not that immediately apparent in my view.

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Tue May 31 2022
5

The good songs are so good (You are the Sunshine of my Life, Maybe Your Baby, I Believe) that I feel like the songs I don't like as well (You've Got It Bad Girl, Lookin' For Another Pure Love) are my fault, not because the songs aren't good. I saw another review that referred to Superstition as overplayed, an idea that startled me. I've always considered Superstition to be a pinnacle of musical achievement, like Bach's Little Fugue in G Minor. Evergreen and always welcome in my stream.

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Mon Jun 06 2022
5

Very nice

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Mon Jun 20 2022
5

This was my favourite Stevie album, until I got into Inner Visions. Wonderful

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Mon Jun 27 2022
5

You Are The Sunshine já começa tão gostosa. Superstition um clássico. Várias músicas para revisitar

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Fri Jul 01 2022
5

You are the sunshine of my life

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Sat Jul 02 2022
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: You are the sunshine of my life, Tuesday heartbreak, Superstition, I believe

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Wed Jul 13 2022
5

No skips on this album a perfect 5/5. Stevie’s work on the keys are magical.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

1972 was the year that Stevie Wonder flexed his artistic muscles and began to produce his music, his way. While sometimes left behind in the classic run of releases that started with Innervisions, Talking Book is a stone cold classic. Great tunes, great arrangements and Jeff Beck.

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Tue Jul 19 2022
5

Just a beautiful album

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

The randomizer seems to be telling me to listen to more Stevie Wonder as this is my third Stevie album. That is a good thing. "Talking Book" is the 15th studio album for Stevie Wonder and along with the previous album " Music of My Mind" starts his so-called Wonder classic period. He was given more freedom from Motown and Barry Gordy and this period transitioned him from youthful prodigy to an independent and expert artist. The politics of the time and recent work by Isaac Hayes, Sly Stone and Marvin Gaye were also influences. Speaking of other musicians, this album has appearances by Jeff Beck, Ray Parker Jr., David Sanborn and Buzz Feiten. One of the highlights of the Stevie Wonder albums I have listened to is the mixture of ballads, softer-jazzy songs, pop songs and funk. This album has all that. Another highlight is his use of the T.O.N.T.O synthesizer which was able to create the sound of multiple instruments. The flow of the album seems to be from a happy relationship to looking for another love as he was or was soon to be divorced. But, there are some more political and non-relationship-based songs in the middle. This album has three of my more favorite Stevie songs. The album starts with the happy love song "You are the Sunshine of My Life." Great backing vocals and congos. Stevie wrote with Jeff Beck "Superstition" while Stevie was playing keyboards and Jeff Beck drums. Just about as bad-ass a funky groove ever.....ever. Stevie's use of the Clarinet Model C. Trumpet and tenor sax come in. Describing popular superstitions and their negative effect. And the album ends on a positive relationship note with "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever). Just a tremendous and uplifting song with a fantastic chorus. Jeff Beck and Buzz Feiten are on guitars and Stevie's kicking it on the drums. I give up trying to pick among this album, "Innervisions" and "Songs In The Key Of Life" as to his best. They're all worth listening to and owning. I believe I have one more Stevie Wonder album in "Fulfillingness' First Finale" in this album challenge. I'm pretty sure I'll like that quite a bit to (I have listen to it but it's been awhile).

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Mon Aug 08 2022
5

It's crazy that this is his 15th (!) album, but he's only at the start of his "classic period" albums. Well, that period is aptly named. I only previously heard Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life and loved them both. This one is right up there with them. What a great album and what an amazing talent - even more amazing when you consider that except for some guitars and some backing vocals everything on the album is him. My favorite track is I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever). I first heard it on the High Fidelity soundtrack and later included it on my wedding celebration playlist. Such a beautiful song (and all him - I had no idea there were no other musicians on that track). I love how it builds until the song is just soaring, and then ends with a great funk jam (does it count as a jam when it's only one person? Maybe it does if it's Stevie Wonder). Superstition is a solid gold classic - the quintessential funky Clavinet track. If you don't at least bop your head when you hear it, you may be dead. You Are the Sunshine of My Life is a classic. Easy listening, sure, but beautiful. All the other tracks are good to great. Maybe Your Baby brings da funk. You and I is schmaltzy but still good (nice use of synths - You've Got it Bad Girl is another good synth track). I also enjoyed Tuesday Heartbreak, Big Brother, Blame It on the Sun, and Lookin' for Another Pure Love (nice guitars, courtesy of Jeff Beck). It's just a great album, and clearly a 5.

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